WomenEd Blogs

Be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable


By Lucie Ager   @lucie_ager

On 30th January, 2023, #WomenEdSE hosted an amazing and inspiring event for #WomenEd at my workplace.

I planned the style of the event to a tee, from creatives and catering to the finer detail of purple and grey balloons; the colours of #WomenEd's logo.

The room, filled with 70 or so women leaders and two of my male colleagues, buzzed with energy and aspirations. We were all there together, because we all share common values and ethos - to make the education workplaces a fair, unbiased and equitable place for women.

There was a moment during one of the talks that I felt I had finally found a place where I was comfortable.

We talked about diversity and my colleague, Dee Bell explained her intersectionality so powerfully.

As a foreigner, living in England, I have had a fair share of that.

Womenkind explains intersectionality as the concept that all oppression is linked.

More explicitly, the Oxford Dictionary defines intersectionality as "the interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage".

I had a moment at that event that summed up pretty much the discomfort, unspoken, subconscious and real, that I have always felt. Sometimes, in miniscule doses, but at other times, in big, hard hitting waves. But seeing Dee in front of me, proud of who she was and celebrating it so openly, so comfortably, I felt so good, good at being different, good at being Czech, a woman, a white other (as you fill it in on pretty much all forms with 'your ethnicity' question in this country).

My other colleague Jodie, another support staff member and a wonderful woman, spoke about being good at everything and only doing what she is good at, without ever being challenged.But since she started feeling comfortable doing things that push boundaries, she gained confidence and respect and looked for opportunities to feel uncomfortable!

What a lady!

I am comfortable and feeling uncomfortable makes me grow, makes me stronger!

Another very true statement I took from Vivienne Porritt's presentation was that we are not blueprints of the requirements for a job and if we can tick all the boxes, we are over qualified. There is no space for growth, right? This spoke deeply to me! I want to focus on growing as a Communications Manager and when the time is right, go down a path of challenge, feeling uncomfortable in order to grow, improve and flourish. For now, there is a huge amount of potential to grow where I am and I am grateful for the opportunities I receive.

Feel uncomfortable, grow and be 10% braver no matter what your first language is, gender, race or what other category we might put ourselves in, this is your time to shine, this is what makes you unique and gives an edge.

Oh and be difficult and don't start emails with 'My apologies....'.

Lucie x

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Monday, 27 March 2023

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